Day 3: World Trade Centre Memorial and The Empire State

Day three started with pancakes. Not a bad way to start! Following the pancakes I got dressed and spectated a game of monopoly while waiting for the bus! Soon it was time to walk around the corner and get the bus into town.

I’ve been surprised every time as to how easy it is to get about here… Especially the bus between New Jersey and New York (which I happen to be on right now writing this!)

Once in town, I managed to make my way on the subway to the world trade centre.

I wasn’t sure what to expect but the size of the holes in the memorial are unbelievable! Somehow ( I’m not quite sure how) on a day like today when the weather is about -15 C, the water was still flowing into the abyss in the centre.

Surrounding the pools, cut into the metal are the names of those who lost their lives in the tradgedy. It’s hard to realise how many names there actually are.

Having wondered peacefully round the memorial, looked at the queue for the museum… It was massive!! I had a thought back to our trip to Barcelona… Walked across the street and using the free wifi booked a ticket for an hours time.

Meanwhile I thought about food. Went for a wander and found the McDonalds which was featured in so much of the footage of the attacks.

I can tell you, the Fillets of fish are almost identical as England but the apple pies are totally different! Baked and served in square boxes… What’s going on?!!!

I wasn’t really sure how long I’d be at the museum, on the surface the building looked really small. Little did I realise that actually the museum was underground!

I still have not processed entirely what met me when I got off that escalator into the memorial museum. To see the foundations of the towers… the walls holding back the water and so many other artefacts was a lot to absorb.

The depth detail and care that has clearly gone into the exhibitions and the entire museum is astounding.

I watched a timelapse video of clearing and rebuilding of the site… It was very clever, projected onto three walls in the room… Lots to look at in every direction.

Having walked a bit further around I came to the exhibition called something like “11th September 2001″… The detail in here was someething else.

Literally a minute by minute breakdown of the events with real recordings of calls, TV footage and real artefacts. I was shocked to see bits of seatbelt from one of the planes that impacted the towers… And fusalage with window hole of the plane that hit the pentagon. Detail was astounding.

The start of the exhibition (and the main throw) focus on the events of the day; the towers, the pentagon, and the plane that was crashed into a field possibly headed for Washington. The exhibition then goes on to look at both before 9/11 and then after 9/11 including a section on the 1993 bombings.

I could and maybe will write a whole post in itself about the museum… It truly was educational and moving.

The end of the museum allows you to write a message which is then projected onto a map over the area you are from. They are then stored like a visitor book…

As I’d been in the museum longer than I’d expected, it had now gotten dark. This allowed me to see the memorial pools by night which is just as imposing… If not more imposing as by day. At night the thousands of names round the outside of the pool are lit up.

With a trip up the Freedom Tower booked for tomorrow morning, I decided to take the subway to the Empire State Building. This meant I’d get to see the city that never sleeps from above in both dark and light!

Wowsers…. 88th and then 102nd floor observatories both provided an amazing view. You could literally see for miles and miles and everything was lit up. Night time meant the grid system of roads was illustrated lights.

View from the Empire State of the World trade centre and if you look carefully, the Statue of Liberty!
View from the Empire State of the World trade centre and if you look carefully, the Statue of Liberty!

The building itself is decorated in a style I can only really describe as “old luxury”. Dark red marble… Chrome everywhere…

I did smile a little as the main elevators up to the first tower have had (obviously) an extensive refurb allowing them to be despatched by remote control by a man in the lobbies… The single lift between the two observatories however had manual doors and a man inside operating.

On the way down I was alone in the top lift… The lift man told me that this was the original lift… To prove he was really in control he stopped the lift between floors!

As I wandered back from the Empire State Building I was a little hungry… I popped through Macy’s but got chucked out as it was closing and then Stumbled accross “Mr Broadway”… Imagine Sami’s in New York!

A very happy Steven walked back to the bus station, nearly an hour early for the bus… But happy as he had a very fat brisket on rye to Munch while he waited!

Enough beef there!?!?
Enough beef there!?!?

I’m shattered – apologies for the lack of photos in this one… I’m writing on my phone.. Will plug camera Into tablet at some point and may add some photos!

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